Last time Nadal was out of top 10 saw Navratilova still winning majors and Sampras leading Grand Slam race as era ends

Monday, 20 March 2023 at 22:00
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Rafael Nadal entered the top 10 back in 2005 and the tennis landscape looked quite different back then compared to what it looks like now 18 years later.
Nadal left the top 10 today for the first time in 18 years after his injury kept him away from the courts since the Australian Open. Due to most of his points coming in the first half o the year, Nadal lost a lot of them and his ranking. The tennis world and history books look quite different right now compared to when he entered in 2005.
For one, Martina Navratilova was still playing tennis and was yet to hang up her racquet. She actually won her final grand slam trophy one year later at the US Open partnering Bob Bryan. Pete Sampras was leading the grand slam race with 14 majors overall and a young Nadal probably didn't think he'd eclipse that number.
Roger Federer had only 4 and Novak Djokovic played in only one grand slam draw. Nadal himself hadn't won any at that time with his first coming one month later at Roland Garros. His only major trophy up until that point was the Monte Carlo Masters but he would be soon winning plenty of them.
Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune weren't even two years old while Emma Raducanu was two. Coco Gauff was one and Linda Fruhvirtova wasn't even born.

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